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Clever design tips for small family gardens by Suffolk Garden Works

Do you have children and a small garden? Are you wondering how to make the most of it?

Well, this is the problem many face and as a result their gardens can end up as rather unimaginative spaces as they try to give their children the room they need to play in. The bottom line is, however, that if your garden isn’t of a size to comfortably host energetic ball games or races, riding bikes or running then no amount of turfing over flower beds is going to help that. Below are a few ideas to get you started on your journey to creating the perfect small family garden.

1. Firstly, why not create variety and screens for your children to hide behind and run between? Variety is the spice of life after all and your garden is no exception! Small does not mean boring and there are a wealth of things you can do to brighten up and seemingly expand what space you do have. Archways, trellises, screens and hedges are all exciting ways to create different areas for your children to play with. Imagination is a gift in children and games can be created with very little effort and equipment!

2. Charity shops are your friends! Take a trip to your local charity shop and you may well come back with a wonderful collection of items you can use to brighten up your small space. Old furniture can be picked up for a pittance and turned into outdoor kitchens for the children to play with and a trip to the pound shop can get you little bits and pieces to complete the look such as hooks to hold pots and pans and the pots themselves.

3. Areas are fun! Dividing your garden into areas can seem counter intuitive if you have a small space but if your garden is not big enough for tearing about in then keeping it clear of things will not change this. Creating different areas for your children to play and explore in will keep them interested and engaged for a long time. Utilising the space you have is an art but it is easy to get the most out of your garden, each corner perhaps could host a different activity such as a kitchen corner using your charity shop buys, a sand and water corner – please not water features of all kinds are a no no with children so all water play must be supervised! - , a mirror corner (make sure all mirrors are secured well) and a digging/burying/planting corner (as long as you’re not too precious about the plants!). More ideas include a trampoline corner, these are always popular but if you have a small space we would recommend sinking them into the ground so they are not an eyesore and so they are safer. A small herb corner, a fruit and veggie corner, a sunflower growing corner, an activity corner – buy some inexpensive sport equipment like skipping ropes, hoola hoops, balls and a bucket or net. Children will make their own games up with these! A busy corner - to create a busy corner find a load of items such as old door handles, old door chains, old light switches (Obviously not attached to anything!), plastic bottles etc and secure them to a wall/fence on a board. It’s a great way to keep younger children entertained!

4. MURALS! In my opinion one of the best and most effective ways of changing the feel and look of a small garden in to add a mural! Why not help the (older; or younger if you like a more impressionistic piece of artwork) children to paint a mural somewhere or a wall or fence? It can be of whatever you like, my favourites are paintings of landscapes like these:

They’re so lovely and magical to look at and you can really feel as though you’re somewhere else. Alternatively if ‘homemade’ isn’t the look you’re aiming for then why not commission a professional to do one for you? There are some wonderful local artists who you can talk to and charge with creating you the perfect mural for your garden. One of our favourite is Kirsty Sharman, the very talented artist who created the stunning works below! Should you feel like contacting her please click any of the images above to be taken directly to her facebook page.

Alternatively please find her contact details below.

We hope you have fun creating your amazing space!

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